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Start planning

To start planning your trip you need to make some decisions upfront. It's up to you how much research you do, but here are a few things you should consider.

What type of holiday are you looking for?

Hot or cold? Drive or fly? Overseas or within Australia? Once you outline what you want from your break it will be easier to decide where you want to go. When you know your destination the real planning begins. Think about how you're going to get there and where you're going to stay. Every trip is different so this is where your personal research comes in.

What do you want to do?

You also need to think about what you want to do while you're there. Will your holiday be a lot of lying by the pool or do you want to sightsee and go on tours? Compile a list of experiences and break them down into 'must have' and 'nice-to-have'. Then when you're planning your itinerary or day-to-day adventures you'll know what you really want to do right from the beginning.

Budgeting and saving

It's best to begin budgeting and saving for your trip as soon as possible. Start by estimating the overall cost of your trip. You'll need to include travel, accommodation, activities, food and insurance as a starting point. Then you can start budgeting and creating a savings plan.

Once you outline what you want from your holiday, it will be easier to decide where you want to go and how you're going to get there.


Be prepared

When you go on a holiday there are a lot of things to get ready before you go. Here are a few things that you should make sure you have organised before you set off: 

Passports and visas

If you're going overseas you'll need a valid passport. Make sure you check your passport's expiration date. Don’t leave this until the last minute as some countries require that your passport be valid for at least 6 months beyond your planned trip. If you've never had a passport or need to renew your current passport, visit the Australian Passport Office website or call the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232. The service is open from 8am to 8pm weekdays and 8am to 5pm on weekends.

For some travel destinations you will need to get a visa. For information on visa requirements go to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website or call (02) 6261 1111.

Tools to help you budget and save

Use our calculators and tools to help you get started:

 ANZ savings calculator

ANZ term deposit calculator

ANZ budget planner

Money

How are you going to pay for things while you're away? It's best to take a combination of payment options so you have the flexibility you need. Learn more about taking money overseas


Insurance

One of the most important things you'll need is travel insurance. Sometimes unexpected things happen on holiday. Travel insurance can give you peace of mind while you're away.

Level of protection varies and it's important to read the small print about what is and isn't covered. Check if your credit cards offer travel insurance before purchasing elsewhere.

Communication

Using your mobile or hotel phones when you're overseas can often be expensive. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased before you leave and can help you save on international roaming costs. If you do decide to take your mobile overseas you might still be able to receive text messages, but think about turning international roaming off so you don’t get a hefty phone bill at the end of your trip. You can also purchase prepaid SIM cards at your destination, but make sure to use a trusted supplier.

Safety, laws and customs

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) runs a very helpful website called Smart Traveller that outlines safety warnings, the local customs and laws of most countries.

Before you travel to a destination you should check for any safety warnings or travel advice that has been issued. Sometimes unexpected things occur that make it dangerous to travel to certain places.

Once you step off the plane into another country, you’re subject to the laws of that country. Things that are legal and don't seem like a big deal at home can be illegal elsewhere. Make sure you research the laws and customs of the countries you visit.

You also need to respect local customs to avoid awkward or even dangerous situations. It’s your responsibility to know what’s acceptable.

Sometimes unexpected things happen on holiday. Travel insurance can give you peace of mind while you're away.


Getting around 

Think about how you'll be travelling around once you reach your destination. Things like connecting flights and train tickets can be much cheaper if you purchase them well in advance.

In many countries you won’t be able to rent a car unless you have an International Driving Permit (IDP). You can get these permits through the motoring association in your state or territory. If you do rent a car overseas, consider a GPS device for help with road rules and directions in English. 

Medications

Don't forget to pack your regular medications and make sure you take enough for the whole time you'll be away. It's also a good idea to have a few basic medical supplies with you like paracetamol, disinfectant and bandages. 

Vaccinations

Many developing countries are subject to diseases that have been eradicated in Australia, so you may need vaccinations. Make sure you organise the appropriate vaccinations well in advance. Also, keep a record of them - you may need proof when you return to Australia from overseas. Ask your doctor about the vaccinations you'll need for where you're going.

The information set out above is general in nature, is for information purposes only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations.  You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.